Yorkshire Caravans of Bawtry

Yorkshire Caravans of Bawtry is the oldest and largest independent retailers of Caravans, Awnings and Leisure accessories in the UK, but that's just part of the story...

Our reputation has been built over many years since the 1930's and is based on quality, choice and personal service. Our customer relationships are long term with many customers choosing YC Leisure to supply their new caravans and pre-owned caravans time and time again.

It all began back in 1926...

Yorkshire Caravan’s founder, Percy Smith, originally owned a petrol station in Sheffield in 1926. He was asked by a customer, if it would be possible to store the families caravan for a week or two. The caravan, on the forecourt, created so much interest, that Percy, who was one never to miss an opportunity, contacted the Manufacturer who agreed to supply him with caravans on a sale or return basis.

Percy sold his first 3 units, and in 1931 decided to relocate to Bawtry, purchasing 2 acres of land on the Great north Road between Bawtry and Doncaster – the exact spot where you’ll find us today! 

Percy built up the reputation and was selling over 300 caravans a year trading as Yorkshire Caravan and Trailer Company.

Helping the Second World War effort

During the Second World War, part of the dealership was used as an evacuee centre for children who had left their city homes, for refuge during The Blitz. It was a difficult time but in the years that followed, caravan sales increased and the company went from strength to strength. 

Keeping it in the family

In 1950, Percy, was joined in the business by his son Derek, who went on to assume responsibility for the business and began the pivotal transformation into one of the most well known caravan industry businesses of its time.

Can we 'ave one Dad?

Affectionately known as “Mr Smith”, Derek was also famous for introducing some of the best caravan franchises in the industry, as well as the old 1980’s famous TV advertising slogans “Can we ‘ave one Dad?”. It memorably introduced caravanning to the wider market, with the likes of Geoff Capes, Jim Bowen and Terry Scott endorsing it, by playing their part in the campaign. In honour of the campaign and the historic background, we have a caravan situated at the front of our 34 acre site, featuring anniversary decals and the old slogan. We have also in the past run competitions on our facebook page, to create some nostalgic memories surround the campaign, see one from 2016 below.

Company Expansion

In 1999, Jon Goulden, Step-son to Derek, joined the company and worked alongside his mother, Jan Smith. Appointed in 2008 as Managing Director, Jon and his wife Jo have continued to expand Yorkshire Caravans into what it is today. 

Online and Conversions

In 2014 Yorkshire Caravans began trading online, selling key caravan accessories through their brand new eCommerce venture. It was also during this time that one of the onsite warehouses was converted into one of the North’s largest caravan showrooms.

Store your caravan with us!

October 2019 saw the introduction of the caravan storage facility. A dedicated storage space for over 1200 caravans and motorhomes, protected by CCTV security, automated barrier entry points, charge points and caravan wash bay facility. The site was accredited with CaSSoa Gold and is open 7 days a week for pickups and drop-offs.

Turning 90

In 2021 Yorkshire Caravans reached their 90th birthday. 90 years since Percy purchased the land here in Bawtry, and we are so glad he did.

Looking to the future  

The site today offers customers the chance to browse, at their leisure, our range of new and used caravans, visit our awnings department and leisure shop, book their caravan in for servicing and aftercare, store their vehicles in our dedicated storage facility or just pop in and enjoy a tasty breakfast or lunch in our onsite café.

With a fantastic team of over 50 employees on hand, you can be sure Yorkshire Caravans is a one stop shop for all your caravanning and motorhome needs.

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